How often do you spend on the mirror picking at the skin? If you cannot control the urge to do so every time, it is not normal. Some people develop excoriation disorder from picking the skin to the point of causing cuts and bruising on the surface.
Most victims of this condition obsess about minute things on their skin which may not even be existing. It can get extreme if you are in the habit of using tools such as tweezers or scissors to pick the skin. Today, we will help you stop this unhealthy habit by teaching you about the causes as well as reduction techniques. Read on!
Table of Contents
What causes excoriation disorder?
This is a form of compulsive disorder where you cannot control a specific behavior. It is a mental condition that can affect your life tremendously. While some people pick on healthy skin, others pick on blemishes like scabs.
The trigger of this disorder differs in individuals. Some people do it out of boredom while others out of anxiety or stress. Some ladies do it out of the need to perfect their skin. Drug abuse and negative emotions can also cause skin picking disorder.
What strategies should you use?
Occupy your hands
Obsessing about your skin happens a lot when your hands are not busy. Get something to occupy them such as wearing gloves so that every time you are tempted to scratch your skin, it feels smooth without any blemishes.
Most skin pickers tend to obsess on particular areas around the skin such as the face. Identify triggers such as when you feel picking a lot. The habit may have a recurring pattern that you can master to help you fight it.
Delay the urge
The more you resist, the more you train your hands to fight off the habit. Focus your attention on something else whenever you feel the need to disturb your skin. Music, for instance, can give you a soothing effect.
Maintain proper hygiene
Proper hygiene will prevent you from getting skin infections. Always ensure that your nails are short to avoid causing bruises on the surface. Practice washing your hands and face regularly to prevent the contamination of germs and the spread of infections.
Get a doctor’s appointment
A doctor can prescribe medication such as Prozac to help you reduce the habit. Anticonvulsant medicines are also used to manage this disorder. Anti-depressants may not be effective in treating this condition. A regular doctor can treat wounds and scars on the skin that are a result of hand picking.
If your skin is damaged extensively form the scratching, you should see a dermatologist. You may get skin conditions such as eczema or acne from constant scratching of the skin.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is effective in reversing such habits. Through attending therapy sessions, you can recognize your triggers and work on them. It can also help you substitute this behavior with something that does not harm your body like squeezing a ball. This new habit can help you deal with stress if that is your trigger and keep your hands occupied.
Stimulus control is also another form of therapy that can help curb the habit. This teaches you how to change an environment that encourages the practice. For instance, you can learn how to reduce the time you spend in the mirror.
Avoid substance abuse
Drugs such as heroin affect your skin and cause unreal sensations. People who abuse this drug keep on picking their skin with the illusion of bugs beneath the surface. You need to recognize that these are not real and go for heroin abuse treatment. It will save you from addiction to the drug and help you deal with this disorder.
Deal with feelings of guilt or shame
For you to get past it, you must recognize that it is a problem. Most people with this condition hide it even for years as they feel embarrassed and guilty about issues in their lives. Let go of any shame or guilt related to chronic picking. By talking about your behavior with others to release the negative emotions.
You can heal and manage stress levels through practicing mindfulness. Deep breathing, guided imagery, visualization, and meditation should be part of your daily schedule. Use each of them to address any underlying issues that elevate the habit. You can also overcome this habit through developing awareness and recognizing urges.
Observe skin care
The right skin care can help you start appreciating your skin to prevent you from the habit. Get a good moisturizer that matches the type of your skin and use it regularly. You can also consider beauty products that have healing elements such as coconut oil.
Get a facial if you feel the need to enhance your appearance. You can discuss your insecurities with an aesthetician to improve your confidence and stop obsessing over skin blemishes.
Eliminate the tools you use to pick your skin. Things such as pins, scissors, and tweezers should not be within your reach. A family member can help you control the urge by keeping these things away from you.
Make use of a face stimulator
This is a useful gadget that can give you an appealing sensation on your face. It is a skin stimulator that comes with plastic bristles which can stimulate your nerve endings in your face. Most users of this face stimulator report that it prevents them from handpicking.
Use a journal
Writing down the feelings associated with your habit can help you start tracking your progress. Jot down your triggers as well as the methods you are using to work on them. You can also find an outlet for expressing feelings. It could be through peer counseling or investing in a hobby.
Excoriation disorder starts in mind. It is a condition that needs to be addressed seriously to avoid harming oneself. Use the techniques above to restore good skin health as you break the cycle.